Another woman has come forward to accuse director Roman Polanski of molesting her when she was a minor.
Artist Marianne Barnard revealed to The Sun that Polanski, who fled the U.S. in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl, allegedly assaulted her during a disturbing “photo shoot” in California in 1975 when she was only ten years old.
Barnard told the British newspaper that her mother had taken her to a beach in Malibu when Polanski showed up and began taking photos of her.
“At first I had the understanding I was just going to the beach with my mom. We were there for a little while by ourselves and then he was there. And she explained that this man wanted to take pictures of me in this fur coat. I thought it was to go into a magazine or something.”
But instead, Polanski asked for her to pose in her bikini. And at a certain point Barnard realized that her mother was no longer with them.
“First he was taking pictures of me in the bikini, then it was with the coat then he said take off the bikini top, which I was comfortable with as I was only 10 and I often ran around with no top on,” Barnard told The Sun.
But then he wanted me to take my bikini bottoms off — I started to feel very uncomfortable. Then at some point I realized my mom had gone. I don’t know where she went and I didn’t really register her leaving but she was no longer there. Then he molested me.
Barnard said she was inspired to come forward after dozens of woman have spoken out about allegedly being abused and assaulted by Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein. Black and White and Tyson director James Toback is also facing numerous allegations that he forced himself on young women he was purportedly “auditioning,” touching them without their consent and masturbating in front of them.
“I felt terribly conflicted that I have been silent all this time and all these women are bravely coming forward and I thought to myself I can’t in good conscious knowing what I know – and having gone through what I’ve gone through – not speak out,” she told The Sun.
“Even though it puts me in a very bad – even dangerous position – with my mom and Polanski and other people who are involved – I can’t be silent any more.”
Barnard told the newspaper she feels guilty for not speaking up sooner, and noted that her alleged assault took place before Polanski’s notorious sexual assault of 13-year-old Samantha Geiger, which led to numerous charges, including rape. The terms of the initial plea deal meant that several of those charges were dropped. Geiger later filed a lawsuit which was settled out of court, and multiple women have since come forward alleging sexual abuse.
“It’s a huge burden to carry knowing that I didn’t come forward earlier – if I did then maybe he wouldn’t have been able to do what he did. But I’ve come forward now,” she said.
Barnard is petitioning the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to remove Polanski from the board.
[Feature image: Associated Press]